MANILA - Senator Francis Escudero said Tuesday taxing sugar-sweetened drinks and salty food will mostly affect the poor.
Escudero's comments came as the government prepared to push for the passage of President Rodrigo Duterte's tax package in the Senate, after it hurdled the House of Representatives.
"Unfortunately, lahat ng matamis at lahat ng maalat, wala kang makikitang ganiyan sa mamahaling grocery—puro na organic, puro na healthy. Lahat ng gusto nilang buwisan, makikita mo sa sari-sari store," Escudero told ANC's Headstart.
(Unfortunately, these sweet and salty food, you won't find them in expensive groceries where they sell organic and healthy items. Everything that will be covered by the tax, you will find in sari-sari stores.)
"So sa dulo, sinong tatamaan ng tax on sweeteners, tax on salty foods? Ang tatamaan nun yung pinakamahihirap nating kababayan," he added.
(In the end, who will be hit by the tax on sweeteners and salty food? Our poor countrymen.)
The government should instead improve its tax collection, and meet its revenue targets, he said.
"It’s an easy way out—instead of collecting taxes properly, instead of increasing collection efficiency, let’s just impose higher taxes," he said.